More Covid Delusion: Thermography for Health Endangers Patient Health via Eschewing Masks in Favor of Ozone

Both your humble blogger and members of our esteemed commentariat sometimes give personal accounts of being on the actual or intended receiving end of financial, medical, and other grifts. This case study of Thermography for Health‘s unsound reliance on ozone falls in the category of “potentially useful shaggy dog story” and is an extra post today. If this isn’t the sort of thing that interests you, please skip over this offering and enjoy our regular programming. But if you have been so unfortunate as to encounter this stripe of Covid quackery, please pipe up in comments.

Thermography for Health is an alternative medical practice that is putting “patient” health at risk by adopting reckless and illegal low/no masking practices while Omicron is rampant in New York City.

This sort of “staff masking optional and sloppy even when done” is bad enough in terms of the hazards involved with imaging, as how close employees get to customers when providing this bread and butter service. But Thermography for Health also has a dental practice of sorts in the same space (the Thermography for Health site touts peridontal and “oral parasites” exams; I’m not sure if these staffers also provide general dentistry, say under a different “doing business as” identity). From the check-in desk I saw someone getting an oral treatment from a practitioner who was in the patient’s face with no mask on.

As you will see in more detail below, Thermography for Health falsely maintains they are not endangering patients with their poor safety practices because they are using ozone machines on premises.

Thermography for Health is also flouting New York State’s Covid-19 rules:

Any person, past their second birthday and medically able to tolerate a face covering, must wear an appropriate mask while in any indoor place, regardless of vaccination status. However, businesses and venues can choose to implement a vaccination requirement, requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry inside the business or venue. Whichever requirement is selected, it must apply to all within the business/venue’s capacity, including staff, patrons, visitors, and guests. A business and venue cannot do a “combination” requirement.

I can’t recall a single instance of our savvy readers, many of whom have been hard on the prowl for non-pharmaceutical interventions to increase their odds of not contracting Covid, ever mentioning ozone as a Covid protection. That is presumably because, if the thought had occurred to them, they discovered with minimal effort on search engines that it is a non-starter.

The use case for ozone with Covid is to bomb a sealed area that has Covid-contaminated air in it, say a room used by a Covid-positive patient after he has been discharged. The reason that hospitals and nursing homes don’t use ozone machines to try to zap circulating Covid is that the concentration of ozone needed to kill Covid is harmful to other living things. Running an ozone machine at a level humans can live with and pretending that the air is pure and masks are unnecessary is foolish and reckless.

The National Environment Agency of Singapore has done a great job of one-stop shopping on this topic. From its site, Technical Guidance On The Use Of Gaseous Ozone Against COVID-19 Virus:

In recent years, some ozone generators have been promoted as air cleaners for use in occupied spaces. However scientific evidence shows that ozone concentrations that are within safe health limits are likely to be ineffective for disinfection and the use of any effective ozone concentrations must preclude the presence of people and pets, including fish.

Specifically, the article shows that the concentration of ozone needed to deactivate a coronavirus: 120 ppb (parts per billion). By contrast, here are the limits for humans:

And the consequences of exceeding those levels:

Exposure to ozone can cause adverse health effects to the nose, throat and airways, with more severe health effects observed at higher levels. Exposure of 300 ppb of ozone may cause tightness in chest and throat as well as irritation of lung and throat within 30 min. Exposure of healthy individuals to 80 – 120 ppb of ozone over 6.6 hours has been associated with loss of lung function with cough and chest pain on deep inhalation, inflammatory responses associated with cellular and biochemical changes, and increased airway responsiveness to allergens and irritants15. A study indicated a decrement in lung function of children when exposed to ozone concentration as low as 60 ppb in the ambient air during a 4-week summer camp in Pennsylvania, US. Chronic exposure has been shown to cause irreversible obstructive airway disease in animals, while some studies showed similar effects to humans.

Now to the shaggy dog part of the story. I get breast thermography instead of mammograms because I have had far far far too many X-rays due to my frequent orthopedic injuries. Both my GP and OB/Gyn regard breast thermography as an acceptable diagnostic. However, if you’ve ever gone to “holistic” or alternative practitioners, they can be all over the map in terms of their general professionalism and their sense of boundaries….like bodyworkers who try to give you advice on diet when you didn’t solicit it.

I had gone to Thermography for Health when I lived in NYC and had not been wild about them. They were competent about the exam proper but were extremely condescending, adopting a cloying faux-parental mien (which is tone deaf in Manhattan given the number of women professionals here who take that sort of guff only when they are getting paid to do so) and aggressively trying to sell getting retested every three months. The desperation for additional revenue was palpable but I would get my results and get out. In Alabama, I had found an operator who was far more professional, but they were housed in a bigger alternative practice. The major domo retired and the thermography part relocated too far away to be practical.

So I was back in NYC over an urgent medical issue that I could not get handled in Alabama (and the docs here agreed it is pressing and I need to get an outpatient procedure in the next two months). Needless to say I have been in vigilante mode, super masked up, windows cracked open whenever there is a window to be had, regular gargling and nose-spraying, and going only to necessary appointments. I was overdue for the thermogram and mistakenly assumed that because Thermography for Health held itself out as being medically adjacent, its staff would be well masked, as was the case in every office I had been so far, particularly since this was Manhattan and there was even better mask discipline generally than before (more N/KN95s, huge decrease in masks below noses).

Not so. Neither woman behind the desk was wearing a high quality mask, and one had it not quite on her nose. The sitting area was empty, but I saw one of the presumed dental treatment rooms behind the reception area with the unmasked practitioner and started freaking out. Then I saw a two men walk through the waiting area, one with a procedure mask as a neck diaper, one with no mask at all.1

I was 3/4 of the way to aborting the appointment when the woman who was going to give me my exam appeared. She was pulling a procedure mask on her face as she walked towards me, a not great sign, and it wasn’t over her nose until I confronted her about the masking practices in the office and how they were endangering patients.

She started to treat me like a moron, the worst sort of PMC-tude from someone with no medical education or scientific credentials, asserting that they were using ozone and so the air was pure and safe and therefore masks weren’t necessary.

I had actually looked into ozone generators in early Covid, because I had rented heavy-duty ones to try to get the smell from a cigar-smoking tenant out of my apartment, and also recalled a time when they had been fashionable in alternative medicine circles. I had ascertained quickly that they would not be not effective. I called her out and said the research didn’t support her claims. She then tried, “Oh, there are lots of opinions, and that one is yours.” I said this wasn’t a matter of opinion but was well documented in medical and hospital sanitation research. She continued to act as if she knew better and any independent information was of no import. She also tried diverting by saying, “We are socially distant”. I said that guidance was badly outdated. She again acted as if she didn’t have to entertain what I was saying.

She then said if I didn’t feel comfortable she would not feel comfortable treating me, which in context was a power play, that if I didn’t shut up she’d withhold treatment. I said I wasn’t happy but I was here and I’d get the exam.

She then baited and switched me. I had booked a breast thermogram, which as you can see on their site is listed as the first thermography service and started to disrobe only for that. She insisted I peel down further so that she could take a thermogram of my entire torso. This on their site is listed as a completely different test, “Thermography Health Screening”. The patter there makes clear that this imaging screens all sorts of additional sites, like the intestines, kidneys, sex organs.

I said I had booked for a breast thermogram and that was all I wanted. She then said, “We don’t do it like they do in Alabama” implying alternative practitioners in Alabama are barefoot yahoos when this was the service I’d gotten from them previously and they were still hawking on their site. She insisted that the breasts were part of a system, that I needed to have imaging of my stomach and intestines and uterus to detect inflammation,2 as if inflammation in my gut could cause breast cancer!

I told her that was ridiculous, pulled my shirt back on in record speed and hiked out. These people have gone from being too obviously hungry for money but still manageable to rank charlatans. Stay away.

_____

1 No one asked me for proof of vaccination, which means under New York State rules, everyone over two years old had to be masked except when eating or drinking.

2 It’s not hard to guess that the reason for pushing for the unnecessary and more extensive imaging were the dietary supplements on display in the waiting area, that in addition to charging more for the “Thermography Health Screening,” they also hoped/intended to push supplements to treat various supposed abnormalities. One of the reasons whole body CAT scans have fallen out of fashion is they would detect various oddities, but there was no clinical base line for knowing if they were pathologies, or simple harmless deviations from normal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

17 comments

  1. Roger Blakely

    Ozone is smog. The major thrust of our air quality regulations is to reduce ground level ozone. Here is the link to the EPA’s air quality standards:

    https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants/naaqs-table

    The ozone limit for an eight-hour average is 70 parts per billion.

    So, yes, the air in the room is going to fry your nose, throat, and lungs before it disinfects airborne virus.

    Remember the fog machine in the discos? The fog was a aerosolized vegetable oil. Why not just put bleach in the fog machine? Why wouldn’t that work? Why not just drink the bleach? Why not just inject the bleach?

    Reply
    1. redleg

      Same problem- the amount required to kill a virus is greater than the amount required to sicken humans.
      It would also fry the machine unless they made the metal parts out of tantalum.

      Reply
      1. Grumpy Engineer

        @redleg: I’m pretty sure that Roger Blakely is being facetious. I’d think it obvious that breathing, drinking, and/or injecting chlorine bleach would be a terrible idea.

        Though now that I think about it more, perhaps it isn’t obvious to everybody. Whether it’s ozone or bleach, there are people out there who don’t realize that these chemically active compounds need to be kept separate from human bodies while performing their sterilization function.

        This reminds me of last year’s purchase of “air purifiers” by the Philadelphia School system: https://philadelphia.chalkbeat.org/2021/7/21/22587784/philadelphia-district-to-install-new-air-purifiers-despite-concerns-from-air-quality-specialist. To quote:

        The purifiers purchased by the district use ActivePure technology, which neutralizes viruses by pulling oxygen and water molecules into a “patented honeycomb matrix” and releasing “powerful oxidizers” back into the room, according to its website. District officials said at last week’s press conference that the technology was “originally developed for NASA” and could eliminate 99% of the virus “within three minutes.”

        I did some research on this back in July and (after much digging) learned that the “powerful oxidizer” was hydrogen peroxide. Same problem as ozone and bleach. When airborne concentrations are high enough to quickly degrade the organic materials of virus particles, they’re also strong enough to degrade the organic materials of the lungs. I very much hope that officials in Philadelphia changed their minds on this.

        Reply
        1. Duke of Prunes

          Have my own air purifier story.

          There was an article posted to NC a few weeks/months back about schools buying dodgy air purifiers with their pandemic money. Knowing the local school board president, I did some research to share with him to make sure our school district didn’t make the same mistakes. One of the snake oil air filtration practices the article pointed out was “ionization”. You run the air through an electro-magnetic field, and it ionizes the bad stuff into good stuff, right? Well no, it can actually do the opposite. It can ionize relatively benign compounds into more dangerous compounds. For example, ionized oxygen IS ozone. Lab tests found that they can actually reduce the indoor air quality, not just by creating ozone, but by ionizing volatile organic compounds which then chemically react with others to create more dangerous gases (ions being inherently unstable, making them more chemically reactive then their non-ionized brethrens).

          Anyway, a while back, my father-in-law, bought an air cleaner at a garage sale. This was an “ionizing” air cleaner that didn’t even contain a filter. There were charged metal bars that supposedly captured contaminants and needed to be cleaned once in a while. He had me set it up for him. At the time he bought it, I figured it probably didn’t help, but what’s the harm, and why speak ill of the “great deal” he made. Wrong.

          After doing the research on ionizing air filters, I was at his house and noticed his bedroom smelled like a dry cleaner. I asked what that was about, and he pointed to the air filter (that I had forgotten about). He said it started smelling like that after he ran the air purifier. I told him to unplug it and throw it away… after which the smell went away. I bought him a HEPA filter for Christmas to dissuade him from finding another garage sale filter.

          Reply
          1. megrim

            I have a fancy HEPA filter (with an ionizer feature) in the room my parrots sleep in, and the number one rule is “never turn on the ionizer ever.” I wish they would stop adding this “feature.”

            Reply
    2. Joe Well

      As I was reading this, I was wondering, doesn’t ozone have a really acrid smell? Like if you were using more than an insignificant amount.

      Reply
  2. Basil Pesto

    hasn’t the latest fad as of like a week ago been drinking your own piss to treat covid? Seems to be doing the rounds on the twitter

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Seriously? That sounds like a 4chan prank. Like the time they convinced the world that the hand ‘OK’ sign was a white power signal.

      As for this ozone idea, I would rather sleep in a pyramid underneath a chrystal for effectiveness.

      Reply
  3. vlade

    Ozone is up there with bleach. Yes, both will kill covid virus. But the concentrations of both to kill the virus will also damage you too, potentially seriously.

    Oh, and increasing temperature to about 80C for one minute allegedly significantly reduces the viral load.

    Sauna can get hotter than that, so if you make every room a sauna… (hint, don’t).

    Reply
  4. anon y'mouse

    i am not a doctor, but did ask my recent ultrasound tech whether she did breasts and she says “gladly, but will insurance pay for it?”

    next time i’m due, i guess i will try to find out. because mammos don’t work on me at all (dense tissues reveal nada), making getting one pointless.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      My OB/Gyn and I discussed that the most reliable way to identify the dangerous, fast-growing tumors that can kill you, as opposed to the at most slow growing ones you will die with, not of, is a manual exam by someone who has felt a lot of boobs. There was a breast clinic in Sydney that had staffers who manually examined breasts all day. They still recommended a sonogram or mammogram as a second check, perhaps because manual exams are not seen as scientific enough.

      You might try getting your doctor to Rx a sonogram, and call your insurer.

      Reply
  5. R

    Ozone – effective concentration will be harmful.

    Hydrogen peroxide – not so sure, would need to look into it to have a view. Tissues are surprisingly resilient to some chemicals because they exploit them themselves, e.g. the in situ generation by cell of hypochlorous acid (bleach!) to kill pathogens as part of immune response.

    Iodine – the way forward! An essential trace element in the diet and a potent viricide, previously used in aerial disinfection in influenza epidemics. I have been fogging the house with iodinated water using a humidifier….

    Mammography – I learnt a lot about this at one fund, where I was a seed investor in Micrima. The breast compression required in X-ray imaging is both uncomfortable and risks breaking fragile tumour tissue and seeding metastases. Micrima has developed phase array radar breast imaging. Not currently FDA approved but currently being adopted in UK. Has taken 17+ years since I invested, gulp…!

    https://www.micrima.com/maria

    Reply
  6. Hayek's Heelbiter

    Ozone? Fuggedaboutit.
    Think UV-C air sanitizers. They nuke any and all aerosolized virions or airborne bacteria.
    The web is rife with scientific studies demonstrating their effectiveness.
    Dermal exposure to UV-C itself is dangerous, therefore, the units are sealed.
    My unit cost about $150 and takes care of the entire flat.
    Optics aren’t anything special compared to handwashing stands and pious posters. The unit just sits in the middle of the room and hums, the blue LED indicating that the UV-C is operational.
    Transport for London uses them in the underground stations. NHS hospitals (source of huge amount of cases, especially of physicians, nurses and staff) refuses to install them.
    So bizarre that it’s now somewhat safer to travel on the underground than go to an NHS hospital. If I were a physician, I would refuse to work any room or walk down any corridor that didn’t have a UV-C air sanitizer installed.

    Reply
    1. Sel Gossett

      I don’t understand why UV isn’t used in air systems everywhere, especially public places.
      The biggest problem is how close the air must be to the source of the UV light and the speed the air flows by the UV source.
      One reason UV needs closeness is that, as biologists have shown, even the thinnest of dermal secretions by living things blocks most of its effects.
      Somewhere, I’ve got an article titled something like ‘How a 60 Year Scientific Screw Up Led to the Death of Thousands’ which details how and why the scientific community accepted both the size of most viruses that were airborne AND the now debunked 6 feet and you’re safe nonsense.
      I bring it up, because the historical researchers who pushed back, who dug through the literature, had one story embedded within the article about a tuberculosis researcher who proved how TB could infect people because the bacterium was airborne and how the air in sanitariums could be sterilized by UV light.
      I’d be interested to learn the details of how the underground deals with the above as they must move huge volumes of air.
      I’ve seen pond pumps using the technology to kill bacteria/viruses.
      Have some friends whose home had it installed on their air intake, after the HEPA filter. But within a year, the lights burned out.
      Looking forward to UV being made in the fashion of our new low power lights, with long life.
      And, never look directly at UV light!
      But you knew that, I’m certain.

      Reply
  7. expr

    re: NY mask mandate
    apparently Nassau county (NYC suburb) has declared that they will not enforce it signs at laundromat and former office were not there today
    Everyone hurry up and catch covid.
    BTW former colleague knew of several people who have had covid twice (delta then omicron)

    Reply
  8. Doc Ock

    Yves;

    I hope my comments ultimately lower anxiety levels patients have over mammography and will attempt to do this by addressing a few issues raised in this post. I weigh-in on your posting as a board certified radiologist who has interpreted and believes in the screening and diagnostic value of mammography for 30 yrs;

    -from a patient’s point of view I can understand the appeal of thermography as a mammography substitute however, from a professional point of view I believe that “both my GP and OB/Gyn regard breast thermography as an acceptable diagnostic” falls under the category of “not even wrong”.The role of thermography ( vs mammography) in diagnosing conditions of the breast was laid to rest decades ago (see here bonus!- you could entice them to perform a site visit to Thermography for Health!).

    – when a patient has a valid concern over radiation dosage in imaging it becomes important to try to quantify what they mean by having had “far, far far too many X-rays”. Radiation dosage is a complex but quantifiable topic needing to be interpreted in light of the risk/benefit of a radiology examination and patient’s age.

    – as far as the topic of appropriateness and sensitivity of finger palpation, ultrasound and radar waves for breast disease detection, I strongly recommend review of the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria for further info (online access). This is a tremendous and unfortunately underused (by non-radiologists and the public) compendium of the What, Why and When of diagnostic imaging in clinical medicine based on presenting clinical history and symptoms. It serves as a great source of information on which to have a discussion with your ordering physician about any radiographic test.

    In closing I feel that something was overlooked from the beginning of your experience- talking to the specialist most familiar and knowledgeable with imaging conditions of the breast. That is of course the radiologist but not even the general radiologist. The field of breast imaging has expanded rapidly in the last few years with the additions of tomography, MRI, as well as new ultrasonographic techniques. These advances mandate sub-specialty fellowships for breast imagers. I would hope that all women with questions concerning mammography sit down with the radiologist who will interpret their study. Specifically, seek out your local academic center; they are more likely to have only mammography sub-specialists reading mammograms and also more likely staffed by women (I do feel women can be more empathetic to the non-medical concerns that female patients may have about breast imaging). These are the people that should be addressing questions about which test is appropriate and how frequently you should be imaged. Unfortunately, despite all the overutilization of imaging that occurs, radiologists are a woefully under-consulted source by both their clinical colleagues and the public. PLEASE, have that sit-down conversation- I think you’ll appreciate how we can help and what we can tell you. Hollywood got Radiology right….

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *